DT Cryptic Crosswords – Page 366 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25924 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25924

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ***

Given a 4-star difficulty rating mainly bcause it took me a long time to be sure of 9A, so the total time was about double my average for this puzzle. One of those rather odd grids that’s perfectly OK apart from the over-unched 5-letter words, but includes a whopping 16 7-letter answers, and only three other word-lengths. It’s easy to see changes that would both increase the variety of answer lengths and fix the under-unching.

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DT 25928

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25928

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Nothing too obscure or contentious today – what we have is a straightforward puzzle which should not frustrate regular solvers for very long, but which contains some entertaining clues.

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DT 25927

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25927

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is the sort of puzzle that you come to expect in the Telegraph.  Nothing too difficult, no awkward constructs, no obsolete or obscure words, no silly phrases, no proper nouns, no isolated corners, and certainly no sign of those love ’em or hate ’em unches!  Just a good, honest puzzle.  Well done our Wednesday setter.

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DT 25926

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25926

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

In his review yesterday tilsit introduced a phrase “double unch” (double unchecked square) which I hadn’t heard before and which I determined to remember for future use – well, I did not have to wait long, because today’s puzzle is full of them! It’s a bit of a curate’s egg really, with a few nice cryptic definitions and some attempts at misdirection, but some of the surface readings are pretty poor, notably 16d.

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DT 25925

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25925

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

Very much at the easier end of the scale, the only thing that I suspect will hold solvers up today is the grid itself.  What an abomination!  Just under half of the clues contained a double unchecked square (known as a “double unch”).  Indeed my record solving time for the Telegraph would have been beaten only for being held up with 5 down. I really don’t like grids with double unches and although I’ll tolerate a couple in a normal puzzle, surely this was too much.

When a previous Times Crossword Editor took over a few years back, he devoted a bit of time to revising all the Times stock grids.  I think it’s time for the DT to follow suit.

Back to the puzzle.  It being Monday we have the usual collection of cryptic definitions, which are fine, but I would rather have two or three a puzzle instead of the number we get.  I always recommend the Telegraph and Guardian Monday puzzles as good places to start when solving cryptics but I sometimes fear that newer solvers are tempted to stick at this level when other puzzles adopted, shall we say, a more balanced approach.  In addition, as my esteemed colleague Big Dave points out, sometimes the puzzle is weakened by these, 26 across is a good example.

That said, there are some lovely surface readings and constructions.  Thanks as usual to our Monday Maestro.

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DT 25923

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25923

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Not too complicated, not too easy either. One new word for me, a french phrase and a couple of Big Dave bete noires, what more could you ask for. Comments as always appreciated.


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DT 25918 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25918

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

Started this off very fast but slowed down in the bottom half.  A saying to ponder from one of the Times for the Times bloggers: “Some of the words in a clue are there for their meaning, and some for their content”.   As a solver, it’s well worth asking “why is this particular word used”, and any passing setters will already have realised that concealing the words included for their content can be quite difficult.

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DT 25922

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25922

Today’s hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

This puzzle is one of the easiest we have had for some time, but it is full of cleverly-constructed clues with excellent surface readings. It would be a very good introduction for someone new to cryptics. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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DT 25921

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25921

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment *****

A superior puzzle with some very good clues and on the whole a really enjoyable solve.  I’m left with the impression that the compiler wants you to do a fair bit of thinking outside the box with some of these main or subsidiary definitions.

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